Bengaluru, Sept 14: Curfew was imposed in 16 areas of Bengaluru due to the Cauvery water protests that hit the city on Monday and Tuesday.
Curfew was imposed in Rajgopal Nagar, Kamakshipalya, Vijaynagar, Byatarayanpura Kengeri, Magadi Road, Rajajinagar, RR Nagara, KP Agrahara Chandra layout, Yeshwanathapura, Mahalakshmi layout, Peenya, RMC Yard, Nandini Layout and Jnanabharathi.
Curfew continues to be imposed in these areas and a decision on when to lift the same would be taken following an analysis of the situation later on Wednesday. For many in the above mentioned areas, curfew was something new.
Streets in most of these areas were deserted and people remained indoors. While people were seen walking around for sometime, they were forced back into their homes at around 9 am when security personnel began patrolling the streets.
There was some amount of confusion among people as they were not aware of the curfew and relaxed hours. In some areas curfew had been relaxed at 6 am so that people could purchase essentials and stock it up.
The relaxed hour, however, ended at 9 am. While the areas under curfew were by and large peaceful, there was violence in Hegganahalli area where on Monday night a man had been killed after he had tried to attack a police vehicle.
Some parts of Vijayanagara too remained tense for sometime on Tuesday.
Vendors make hay:
Several people were seen rushing out of their homes on Tuesday morning trying to stock up essentials for the day. For a brief period in the morning a couple of hotels were open and street vendors did brisk business.
Some residents complained about the milk vendor charging a rupee more while others spoke about tomatoes being sold for Rs 20 per kilogram. It was clear that the vendors did try to make a quick buck taking advantage of the situation.
Most people remained indoors and any attempt to roam the streets earned the wrath of the police personnel. The streets were deserted all through the day.
The only movement was by the police men who patrolled the streets for the entire day the entire day both by foot and via their vehicles. The scenes reminded people of the situation that prevailed in Bengaluru a few days after the 1991 Cauvery riots or the one following the abduction of matinee idol, Dr Rajkumar.
Similar scenes were witnessed following the death of Dr Rajkumar in 2006 as well.
Most people did not venture out into the streets. Many streets which would have usually witnessed children playing during holidays remained empty. Parents did not want to take any chances and ensured that their children remained indoors.
However, curfew was not similar in all areas. While Hegganahalli witnessed protests all through the day, in Pattegarpalya tyres were burnt. The cars that were parked on the streets also bore the brunt with tyres being punctured by miscreants. The police had a tough time in both areas and by afternoon managed to get the situation under control.
Area around Mysuru road wore a deserted look as well. The area which is often witnesses heavy traffic was deserted and all that could be seen were fire engines and men in uniform.
There were a few incidents of log burning during the early hours. In another incident a bus which was set on fire on Monday was burnt again. However the police managed to quickly bring the situation under control.
Police had to resort to lathi charge to disperse a mob. The absence of any vehicular movement on Mysuru road was the most striking. All buses services had been called off.
On Wednesday, life in these areas was returning back to normal. There is still police presence in large numbers, but the atmosphere is much more relaxed.
Although many shops in areas under curfew remain closed, the state administration says that complete normalcy is likely to be restored by Wednesday afternoon.